15 Longest-Living Dog Breeds Perfect For Making Lasting Memories

When you’re ready to commit to a dog, choosing one of these breeds will keep you in terrific company for years to come.
By Tracey L. Kelley
December 28, 2020
  • Chihuahua

    Chihuahuas are charming, smart, and sassy. Small in size, but big in personality, Chihuahuas are beloved by owners for their unique appearance and entertaining attitudes. Learn more about living with this pint-sized breed.
  • Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

    Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, are small, feisty, and fiercely dedicated to their owners. These former rat hunters now enjoy their status as fun, fearless companions especially suited for apartment life. Learn more about living with Yorkies.
    By Molly Brown
  • Australian Cattle Dog

    Loyal but independent, affectionate but aloof, an Australian cattle dog is a great match for anyone who shares his intelligence, high energy, attention to detail, and activity level. Learn more about this exceptional herding dog.
    By Tracey L. Kelley
  • Dachshund

    Easily recognized by its long body on stubby legs, the small and spunky dachshund has long been a family favorite. Learn more about living with doxies.
    By Abby Gilman
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    Tiny, noble, and extremely friendly, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has become one of the most popular breeds in the world due to its ability to fit into any living situation.
    By Chad Taylor
  • Poodle (Toy)

    Intelligent, fun-loving, and adorable, toy poodles are some of the best family dogs in the world.
    By Chad Taylor
  • Lhasa Apso

    Lhasa apsos are small, confident dogs filled with personality who make excellent watch dogs and smart, loyal companions.
    By Molly Brown
  • Beagle

    Beagles are gentle, fun-loving hounds who require plenty of exercise and companionship with their owners. Learn more about living with beagles.
    By Abby Gilman
  • Cockapoo

    With the intelligence of a poodle and the loving nature of a cocker spaniel, it’s no surprise the cockapoo is one of the most sought-after crossbreeds in America. They are a low-shedding, easy-to-love dog that comes in a myriad of colors and sizes to please any family.
  • Maltese

    While their flowing white locks draw attention, Maltese are especially beloved for their smart, gentle nature. Learn more about living with the Maltese.
    By Kate Silver
  • Papillon

    The papillon is a brilliant, energetic little dog whose unique appearance has made him a royal favorite for centuries.
    By Chad Taylor
  • Pomeranian

    Pomeranians are small in stature but big in personality. Alert, intelligent, and confident, Pomeranians have a beautiful coat and a charming personality to match. Read on to learn more about this little, loveable breed.
  • Australian Shepherd (Aussie)

    Australian shepherds are intelligent, loyal, energetic dogs that love spending quality time exploring with their owners. Learn more about living with Aussies.
  • Chinese Crested

    Whether hairless or “powderpuff,” Chinese cresteds are friendly little lap dogs who are excellent for apartment life, older owners, or anyone who just likes a conversation piece.
    By Chad Taylor
  • Russell Terrier

    Russell terriers are incredibly intelligent, endlessly sociable, and unquestioningly adorable. Learn about their temperament, level of care, and more to decide whether this breed is right for your family.

There isn’t an absolute scientific formula for determining the average lifespan of a dog, but most pups are cuddly companions for about a decade. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest-living dog ever recorded was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who lived nearly 30 years!

What Types of Dog Breeds Live the Longest?

Jerry Klein, DVM, is the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club. He says research indicates larger dogs’ lifespan is approximately 7–10 years, and smaller dogs have a life expectancy of 13–16 years.

“Breeds in the toy group, some of the terriers, and Australian cattle dogs have been known to live long lives,” Klein says.“But the longest-lived dog I’ve personally ever met was a Schipperke—a small dog breed that originated in Belgium—who was 23.” 

Klein adds that longevity, while primarily determined by genetics, is also impacted by lifestyle choices that influence how a dog (or a person) is ‘hardwired.’ “Wellness care is often extremely important for a quality, longer life,” Klein says. “By receiving an appropriate high-quality diet, getting proper and regular physical activity and mental stimulation, and with you adhering to the veterinary recommendations for annual or semi-annual wellness exams, your dog will be more primed to live a longer and healthier life.”

Credit: Phanuwat Yoksiri / Getty

Overall Longest Living Dog Breed: Chihuahua 

Vying for this top spot along with the Australian cattle dog is the official national dog of Mexico. Chis, as their loving owners often call them, are bright, curious, and full of spark and pluck. They’re extremely loyal, too. 

If you’re also wondering about the shortest- and longest-living dog breeds, keep in mind that size can make a difference. The gentle Bernese mountain dog, usually between 60–110 pounds, lives an average of seven years, while the feisty Chihuahua, who weighs about 3–6 pounds, might be your pal for up to 18 years.

Credit: Christina Børding / Getty

Smallest Long-Living Dog Breed: Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

Standing nose-to-nose on the teensy chart with the Chihuahua is that spunky wisp, the Yorkshire terrier. The Yorkie is a popular choice among people who like smart and trainable pint-sized pooches with huge personalities. These tiny cuties average 11–15 years of sassy playfulness and oodles of affection.

Credit: Paulo Hoeper / Getty

Long-Living Dog Breed for Active Pet Parents: Australian Cattle Dog

The high-octane energy, acute intelligence, and strong work ethic of the Australian cattle dog makes him a long-living dog breed that's also great for people with an active lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for this loyal herding canine to be your best buddy for up to 16 years. Few breeds are happier with a job to do than this one, so make sure to give your Australian cattle dog lots of exercise and plenty of opportunities for both physical and mental enrichment to ensure he's living his best life.

Credit: Vsevolod Vlasenko / Getty

Longest-Living Hound Dog Breed: Dachshund

Be she a wiener dog, doxie, sausage dog, weenie, or dashie, she’ll be yours for 12–16 years! That’s quite a while to love this tenacious, outgoing, and playful pooch. The dachshund breed is so revered, a dashie was the mascot for the 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich. And how many dog breeds have a museum dedicated just to them?

Credit: Tanja Walter / EyeEm / Getty

Best Long-Living Dog Breed for Apartment Living: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Who’s a handsome boy? Without a doubt, the noble and friendly Cavalier King Charles spaniel has earned his celebrity status as an adorable companion for kids, seniors, and other family pets. These long-living dogs can reach age 18 and love to run and play—but are also just as content to cozy up on the couch for a binge session of The Crown.

Credit: zhao hui / Getty

Longest-Living ‘Hypoallergenic’ Dog Breed: Toy Poodle

There’s really no such thing as a ‘hypoallergenic’ dog: there are only pooches with less reactive protein and shedding issues. But if you want a friendly and affectionate canine companion you can snuggle with few sneezes (hopefully), the bright toy poodle has a lifespan of 10–18 years. She’s such a cutie, the time will just fly by!

Credit: Ricant Images / Adobe Stock

Cutest Long-Living Dog: Lhasa Apso

Don’t let those beautifully-groomed locks fool you. While a Lhasa apso is ready for any Insta-pose you want to put him in, this regal pooch was initially bred to guard Tibetan palaces and Buddhist monasteries. His confidence, playfulness, and loyalty will be yours to enjoy for 12–15 years.

Credit: alaskla / Getty

Most Popular Long-Living Dog Breed for Kids: Beagle

If your child begs for a furry best friend, you really can’t go wrong with this adorable and gentle hound, as this dog’s lifespan is about 10–15 years. Endlessly popular, beagles have enough energy to keep up with even the most rambunctious kids! They’re also great small-game trackers for hunters in the field.

Credit: Hannah Boyd / Shutterstock

Longest-Living Hybrid Breed: Cockapoo

A delightful mix of the best traits a cocker spaniel and a poodle can offer, the happy-go-lucky and whip-smart cockapoo can be a welcomed family companion for up to 15 years—sometimes even longer! This pooch might also be a good choice for people with allergies, and they are great therapy dogs.

Credit: Sergey Lavrentev / Adobe Stock

Most Affectionate Longest-Living Dog: Maltese

Another reduced-allergy companion might be this top snuggle pooch with an ancient lineage. Combining brains and beauty, Maltese dogs are some of the most affectionate pups you’ll ever know. Playful but not prissy, they’re easily trainable and will relish the opportunity to do tricks with you for 12–15 years.

Credit: Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty

Toy Dog Breed With a Long Lifespan: Papillon

Not quite as itty-bitty as a Chihuahua or Yorkie but just as spunky and clever, you might recognize the royal favorite papillon from trips to the art museum: Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Toulouse-Lautrec frequently featured her in paintings. Averaging 14–16 years old, she’ll be a longtime companion.

Credit: William Rodrigues dos Santos / Getty

Long-Living Lap Dog: Pomeranian

SO much fluff on such a weensy body! At first glance, you’d never know Pomeranians were cousins of hearty Nordic sled dogs. While they might not be able to trek as far on their short legs, they’re still healthy and hearty—usually living 12 years or longer. Outgoing and playful, Poms are great dogs for first-time pet owners and are easy to train.

Blue merle Australian shepherds have a mottled coat with black spots against a gray base.
| Credit: Eudyptula / Getty

Smartest Dog That Lives a Long Time: Australian Shepherd (Aussie)

You can see it all over her face: the Australian shepherd is ready. For anything! These highly-intellectual and loyal working dogs excel at tasks, which is why many are livestock herders, competitive performers, and part of search-and-rescue and police teams. With a lifespan of 12–15 years, Aussies are excellent service dogs, too.

Credit: Ekaterina Gorokhova / Getty

Longest Living Dog Who Looks Most Unusual: Hairless Chinese Crested

Who wouldn’t love such a unique pooch? Oh, the social snaps! Both hairless and ‘powderpuff’ varieties of Chinese crested dogs are sweet, attentive, and long-living canine companions, reaching at least age 13 but often into the higher teens. They don’t require a lot of exercise, but expect to spend much of their time with you ... and everyone else!

Credit: zhao hui / Getty

Athletic Long-Living Dog Breed: Russell Terrier

Put this terrier and an Australian cattle dog in an agility ring and wait for the fireworks! Few dogs can compete with the Russell terrier's speed and laser-sharp concentration, which is why it’s essential to keep lovable Russells active and engaged. If she’s going to live her best life to age 14, she needs a dedicated hooman to match her energy!